Estuary Park unveiled with renovated synthetic field in Alameda

23 January 2018

Alamedans have a new park to call their own — the city known for its abundance of outdoor space now has its first synthetic turf sports field.

On a sunny afternoon on Jan. 20, the city Recreation and Park Department dedicated the new field and later, the Alameda Little League Challenger Division, which has children with physical and developmental disabilities, played a two-inning demonstration baseball game as part of the celebration.

“I do ribbon cuttings all the time, but when I look around at this opening, there are so many people here. Alameda turns out for our parks because we know how important they are,” Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer said.

The eight-acre park near the Oakland Estuary was the site of the former Alameda Naval Air Station and was dormant for years. After a $2 million renovation, the park now has a lighted, synthetic turf field for soccer, football, lacrosse and rugby, and it also has a synthetic baseball diamond specifically designed to be accessible to children of all abilities. There is also a new playground on the eastern portion of the park, along with picnic areas, basketball courts, an open lawn and a dog park.

“We’re excited about all the athletic opportunities for all kids,” Recreation and Park Director Amy Wooldridge said. “Alameda sports are open to kids of all abilities and this field really will serve all kids in Alameda.”

The new baseball diamond has shorter turf that is wheelchair accessible, and the park also has ADA accessible parking and picnic tables.

As families enjoyed hot dogs and popcorn while the Little League Challenger Division warmed up to play, Brian Belger, father of Brian Belger Jr., 14, who is  part of the Challenger League, said he was glad his son’s team had a safe space to play.

“There’s so many teams in Alameda it was hard to have a field that was easy for wheelchairs and is level,” Belger said. “It’s good that the Challenger kids now have something to call their own.”

The park is estimated to serve at least 165,000 Alameda youth, parents and residents, including those who will live at Alameda Landing once it has been redeveloped.